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Riad Porte Royale
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Reviews (78)
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Reviewed September 11, 2008

A first class place to stay in Marrakech. The design within the hotel was not just a fabulous aesthetic, it was all plainly high quality and there to be used as well, something very rare hotels these days. Clean lines, where not just in the main areas but in the room as well. The subtle hints of African design where spectacular. What can I say, it just worked!

Even before arrival Philip was incredibly helpful via email, organising the airport transfer, late breakfast and offered to organise an evening meal on top. It took a huge amount of stress out of travelling, knowing everything at the other end was already organised.

On arrival, the taxi was no where to be seen. In typical Ryan air standard, I had an email in the air telling me that the clocks where changing in Marrakech and they had given me a wrong landing time, therefore we would be landing in an hour early. We called Mohamed (riad’s manager) who sent someone with gusto to pick us up.

As soon as we arrived we where welcomed by Mohamed and Hajiba and received an enormous breakfast spread. This was to be repeated every morning.

We took the Douriya room. It was lovely and cool with a very comfortable bed and AC. The bathroom was stunning, with the most enormous bath. The attention detail in the riad seemed to expand to every little room. If I was to pick out negatives in the riad, it would be in the bathroom. Drainage was slow and on occasion was a little smelly and the water pressure wasn’t good. However I should imagine that’s more of a Marrakech issue, rather than riad specific.

You certainly don’t need to take a lonely planet with you when Mohamed is about. On your first trip out of the riad, he kindly walks you too a main streak to the square, warns you of pestering kids, gives you directions and suggestions of where to eat. Anything Mohamed isn’t sure of he finds out quickly and lets you know. So, so helpful.

The Riad location is about 15-20 min walk to the main city square. I personally really enjoyed wandering in the morning. You walk through a relatively tourist free area, with all the locals selling fresh vegetables and spices. Then into the souq, with lots of tourists and your usual salesmen trying to get you into their shops and finally into the main square. The riad is off the main tourist path which I think was great. Gives you a small glimpse into the more local life of Marrakech. However I would say unless you have an incredibly good sense of direction take a little note book and write yourself directions. It is an easy route once your used to it, however when you first get there and everything seems to look the same it’s a great help.

As you can probably tell, I loved the Riad Porte Royale and most definitely would stay there again; it’s less of an ‘if’ and more a ‘when’. It offers great value for money, a serene atmosphere (especially needed after the craziness of Marrakech). Most of all you know you’re in safe and good hands.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank SomewhereTotallyElse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipbrebner, OWNER at Riad Porte Royale, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2009

Thank you so much for your kind comments. We noted your comment on the drains in the Douriya Room. A plumber resolved the problem, and the smell—to date—has disappeared.

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Reviewed February 24, 2008

We chose this riad because of the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and the intriguing photos here, on hipmarrakech.com and riadporteroyale.com. Our expectations were exceeded. Mohammed, Hajiba, and owner Philip were charming and very helpful. The location is excellent, in a friendly, non-touristy neighborhood in the old Medina, just a 15 minute walk through the winding passageways through the souks to the Jemma al Fnaa market square. The architecture of the riad is stunningly beautiful, and the atmosphere is quiet, cool, and peaceful, particularly after spending the day out in the hectic streets of Marrakech. The prepared meals were tasty, the mint tea was delightful. Philip arranged a two-day hiking trip in the Atlas Mountains through an associated tour operator (Epic Morocco), and we had an excellent hiking experience with an English-speaking and well-educated guide.

The Riad location is also just a 10 minute walk to the Museum of Marrakech and the Madrassa Ben Yousef, both of which feature absolutely stunning architecture and intricate Islamic carving and tile work.

Be sure to minimize or outright avoid paying children for walking you around the souks. Another reviewer mentioned that a child wanted a tip larger than taxi fare. Here's a simple solution -- don't do it! This practice can distort the local economy and undermine children's incentive to go to school -- after all, kids are skipping school to beg for money that allows them to make more in a day of begging than their fathers can make at a legitimate job. It's just the wrong incentive.

In summary, we wholeheartedly recommend the Riad Porte Royale.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2007

We booked this lovely riad directly via the website and the owner Philip was incredibly helpful even before we arrived helping sort bits out. They arranged a taxi to pick up at the airport which was really great. Indeed Mohamed, arranges transport and trips if you want during you stay which is a great way of taking the stress out of things. We had a few days in the mountains and managed to climb touebkal! There are some posh gorgeous restaurants near the riad that are a super treat (again Mohamed can organise and will walk you there and back!). Although equally divine, one night we stayed in the riad and Hajiba cooked an awesome tagine for us to eat under the stars.

Overall the Riad Porte Royale is a great oasis of tranquillity that you so need when visiting this wonderful city. Its clean, and beautiful, the attention to detail in the furnishings is wonderful. It is in the North of the medina which has the advantage of getting you away from the hustle and bustle and also you get to see some local life on the fun walk back (although you can pick up a taxi easily from most places very easily). It took a few attempts to find the riad but that was half the fun and Mohamed was only ever a phone call away!...a compass would have been useful.

It is very safe and the dark alley ways situated around the souks, which confront you on the first day are very safe and I didn't feel uncomfortable like I would in London. Local children are enterprising in the town and near souks and will gladly help you get from A-B if you are lost, although they will expect a tip that is sometimes more that the cost of a taxi. Moreover, get used to them telling you that the road ahead is closed when its not!

Now I am home i am missing the mint tea and the great fresh orange juice. Mohamed and Hajiba are superb hosts and so kind and helpful, they make this Riad work. I would recommend this riad to anyone, but then again maybe its a secrete gem we should keep to our selves!

Stayed: September 2007
1  Thank londonescape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2007

Booked this through hipmarrakech.com and found the riad to be a lovely place to stay, away from the hubbub of the souks and Jemaa el Fna.

We were picked up from the airport in a taxi and taken personally to the riad where we met with Mohammed the manager. Hajiba had cooked us a meal for our arrival which was excellent.

The walk down to the Jemaa el Fna is about 20 minutes through the souks and easy to find the way after a couple of trial runs. Coming back after dark we preferred to get a taxi to nearby Bab Taghazout and walk the last 300m or so. Very easy. If we'd been in trouble we could have always phoned Mohammed!

The Riad was clean, well decorated, and (we stayed on the ground floor) NOT DAMP!!!

All in all a brilliant stay - assuming I return to Marrakech in teh future I'll happily stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2007
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Thank chisballs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2007

This was a nice place to stay - well, if you can actually find it again after leaving! It's in the North Medina, a good 20 minutes walk from the Square - make sure you leave a trail of breadcrumbs when you leave. However, being away from the main tourist drag meant that it felt like a refuge when you went back there from the madness that is the souk!

The riad itself was fine - the courtyard is quite small and often in shadow, terrace was a little shabby etc but breakfast up there was great and the staff were lovely, arranging massages and evening meals. The decor was very white and minimalist - the occasional burst of colour wouldn't have gone amiss...

Avoid the rooms on the ground floor off the courtyard they are extremely damp and uncomfortable (the owner says this is being sorted out). The rooms upstairs are far, far nicer and only about £5 more per night.

Final note of caution - no credit cards accepted, which is fine but there wasn't any notice given which meant that the morning we flew home we had to rush about and visit several banks to draw out enough cash to pay the bill. This would have been so easy to avoid...

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with friends
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2  Thank aliceathome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipbrebner, Owner at Riad Porte Royale, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2007

Riad Porte Royale has only been open for six months and we welcome comments from clients.
Our priority has been good service and I am glad this was appreciated. Although we are legally registered I apologize for not taking credit cards as yet and we now advise clients of this upon booking. Besides, it keeps prices competitive!
At 56sq metres the courtyard is larger than the the average found in midrange riads in Marrakech. Indeed, the previous owner used to rent it out for weddings as it was so spacious! And like all courtyards it cannot be sunny the entire day, which can be a relief between May and October.
Damp is a problem with the majority of very old riads in the medina. However, this summer we stripped back the walls in the downstairs rooms, rebuilt them and applied a sealer to remedy this. We have also put special one-way glass in the windows of the courtyard bedrooms and bathrooms to maximize light during the day and enhance the privacy of the clients in these rooms, as many clients kept the shutters almost always closed.
The rate for the upstairs bedrooms is actually 20% higher. These ensuite rooms have reversible a/c and one features a four poster bed and a private staircase.
This summer we have also revamped the split-level terrace, supplementing the tent with marble topped tables, teak sunbeds, more plants, more cushions, and a couple of African objets d'art.
We closed the riad for a month to complete all this work, and it is gratifying that when we reopen tomorrow our first clients are a group coming for the second time as they enjoyed staying at RPR so much in the spring1

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